This post was inspired by the Broke and the Bookish.
Welcome to Fantasy 101. Today, we’ll be talking about which books every fantasy reader and writer needs to study and investigate in-depth. Some of these, I have yet to work through (and I’m ashamed), but I’m also a student today. Let’s get started:
- Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede and the rest of this series- These children’s books are an excellent way to start kids on fantasy young. They also give us an excellent view of what a typical fantasy can be - princesses hanging out with dragons and solving problems. They’re clean, they’re safe, and they’re so much fun without being overly complicated. Also, DRAGONS.
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien - This should be an obvious choice. As an enduring fantasy classic, everyone who is even slightly interested in the fantasy genre needs to devour this immediately. It also displays a well-written hero’s quest and does an excellent job of starting seemingly small and growing to epic proportions.
- The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks - The Shannara books are somewhat similar to LOTR in some ways, but we see much more of the world in these books than we do in LOTR. There are SO MANY of these books, so this series can give you fantastic idea of what a well-built world looks like and how to continue writing in the same world for a ridiculous amount of time.
- Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson - I HAD to include a Sanderson book (of course). Sanderson rocks at world building, character development, magic systems, moving the story along at a good pace, and just basically everything. READ THESE BOOKS. Also, he’s a very good fantasy author who’s still writing and who’s still widely read, so pay attention to Sanderson to see the direction of fantasy writing.
What books would you include in a Fantasy 101 course?